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QUARANTINE TIMES: MOO-SING ON LIFE

Updated: 5 days ago


When we all headed home for spring break back in March, I doubt any of us really thought we would be coming back in a week or two, although I was definitely hoping. I don’t think any of us could really know what would come next, and we still don’t. The world has changed so much since we all last stepped foot on campus, and yet there are some things that in this crazy time stay the same.


I often tell my fellow Harry Potter friends that I am the female, muggle version of Newt Scamander, the newest character from J.K. Rowling who runs around with a magical case full of different kinds of magical creatures. While my creatures may not be magical, they are certainly one of my only comforts and distractions in this time. Altogether I have dairy cows, alpacas, cats, dogs, ducks, and a few rabbits. My quarantine has been very much focused on them.


Dairy farming is counted on the list of essential services in both New York and Pennsylvania. Even if it wasn’t, it’s not likely that any farm would have been able to stop if they had been told. So every afternoon I go up the road to the barn at my grandparents’ house for afternoon cow chores. It’s the one place in the world right now where although things are hard, as they always are on a farm, I get a break from thinking about anything except for the animals that I love.


When I was younger I used to show my cows with my local 4-H club. My first cow, Katy, has been with me since about a week after my thirteenth birthday. It is not an exaggeration to say that she is my best friend. She is going on eight years old now, which in cow years (similar to dog years), that is about forty-two, which is old for a cow. I’m sure when it comes down to it, more than anything else that comes from this quarantine I will be grateful for these extra few months that I get to spend with her that I normally would not have had.

[Pictured here: Sara Holthouse and Katy, March 13, 2020]


A few days into this quarantine, Katy’s second granddaughter, Ruby, was born. Also around that same time we got our newest batch of ducks. Every day with these guys is something new and exciting, so much so that I can’t really get into it, or this story will never end. But more than anything when in the barn or anywhere that my animals are, there is a reminder that life continues on, even if the world is going crazy.


Among the projects that my mom and I have been doing during this time has been diamond painting and movie marathons. One of those marathons was “The Lord of the Rings” and since we watched them there has been a quote that has been repeatedly coming to my head.

At the end of “The Two Towers” Samwise Gamgee says, “There’s some good left in this world… and it’s worth fighting for.”

My animals remind me of this everyday. The world might seem to be falling apart, but the cows still need to be milked, the alpacas and rabbits still need fed, the ducks still need to be cleaned out, and the cats and dogs still have their needs. All of them still need to be loved, and all of them still love us. In our little town, and corner of the world, life continues on just as it did before this craziness began, and will for a very long time after it is all over.

~~ Sara Holthouse (Class of '21)

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